How Internal UA Teams Should Leverage a Consultancy
- by Ariel Neiman | January 7, 2021
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Your in-house team of user acquisition (UA) professionals is the best of the best. They are well-versed in all aspects of UA. Internal UA teams are equipped with all the best tools and technologies to make them successful. And they continue to deliver consistently.
But perhaps your performance is not where you want or need it to be for the growth of your business.
Why? When your team has the right stuff, it seems contradictory that your UA would be anything less than outstanding.
Here are some of the common reasons that your UA may be underperforming. Even with a stellar team, tools, and technologies:
Why Internal UA Teams Should Leverage a Consultancy
Reason 1: Tunnel Vision
Focusing on one product or title has the benefit of understanding all its nuances. But internal UA specialists tend to over-index their focus on the product. And also lose context on the trends of the publisher medium. For example, your source of new users.
In today’s marketplace auctions, losing the high view understanding of the auction affects performance and optimization. By only seeing one product or title, you lose the ability to see cause and effect across a wider ecosystem.
It is the difference between understanding what challenges or opportunities are unique to a title. Versus what challenges and opportunities are market-level, affecting every title. It is important to have visibility into the largest data set possible to serve your overall UA needs.
Reason 2: Objectivity and the Risk of Obsolete Strategies and Tactics
In any profession, it is always difficult to look inward on areas to improve.
Much like what a coach or therapist may provide, objective feedback helps us change and grow. It is really no different to need this objectivity within UA teams in areas to improve.
Without objective feedback, skills may not keep up with the market. What made teams great a year ago, may lose their relevance tomorrow. UA auctions are an ever-changing landscape affected by global politics, technology changes, and the economy. Just take a look at our latest paper on Facebook UA Strategies for 2020, which are dramatically different than a year ago due to changes in Facebook’s algorithm and the release of new tools in just the last several months.
Reason 3: Resourcing
As most UA teams run lean, there is not a bench of underutilized resources sitting around, waiting for the call. With regular turnover and no means to solve the gaps, this can put a stranglehold on growth. Additionally, every time talent walks out of the building, context and knowledge leave with them. Which is very difficult to recreate.
For the reasons listed above, working with an external consultancy is highly effective. And will ensure your UA operations are running as efficiently as possible. It is imperative for even the best UA teams to have external support. In order to address the high stakes of paid UA and the constantly evolving market. At a minimum, an external consultancy that is worth their salt will provide you with:
- Entry to trusted market data that you can benchmark your UA team’s performance against
- Access to a rapid response team that can address the ups and downs of resourcing. Whether it is supplementing short-term turnover or long-term operating cost efficiencies
- Entry to a framework that ensures success that includes process, best practices, data insights, and resources
As one of Consumer Acquisition’s UA consultants, I am going to share some insights on how we support in-house teams. Also, why we are great at it:
Insights to Supporting Internal UA Teams
Step 1: We start with the most robust audit possible
We run through a 4-point system comparing your previous programs to our best practices and benchmark data.
This starts with benchmarking your UA performance. First, we evaluate performance metrics and data integrity relative to the $150 million in monthly spend running through our platform. Next, we assess the following and then develop a hypothesis:
- What is outperforming
- What is underperforming
We then follow up with targeting that has been used (or not used) and the success of those efforts, including:
- How you are using seed audiences for LAL’s and at what granularity
- What interest targets have been tried and what has worked
- Note: There should be a lot of experimentation with affinity interests outside of your core product. But should be aligned to the persona or motivations of the user. Because this could be a good source of low CPM’s if executed properly.
- What optimization strategies have been tried and what were the results including:
- Whether multiple optimization types are being employed and learnings being shared
- Whether you are effectively hedged on optimizations that could be impacted by ATT when released by iOS 14
- What geos are being targeted and how you are categorizing your geo targets to avoid unnecessary cannibalization
- Whether you are effectively leveraging auto bidding to ensure scale
Most importantly, we then conduct an extensive creative audit to assess:
- Creative performance and identifying trends across winning creative
- Competitor creative performance and identifying themes or opportunities that can be applied
- Creative size distribution and that every meaningful distribution opportunity has supporting creative
Step 2: We build the plan
After the extensive audit, we develop a 90-day sprint plan that encompasses:
- Summary of findings and recommendation
- Detailed action plan and the timeline for activating the recommendations
- The buildout of the learning agenda and testing plan
- New creative concept mini briefs based on the creative audit
Step 3: We become part of the team and lean in
- Develop creative concepts that are aligned to the audit that will drive the learning agenda and testing.
- Connect with your team weekly to chart progress and identify where we can lean in to help support the project.
- Measure performance along the way and recommend new strategies and tactics as opportunities present themselves.
Step 4: After 90-days, the sea level will have risen, so there is more work to do
- Conduct a detailed post-mortem including expected gains and efficiencies created.
- Provide a go-forward plan for the next 90 days. This will ensure that the previous 90-days was a step-change to something even greater.
Time and time again, we have seen this approach up-level in-house UA teams. Consider taking us for a test drive.
Consumer Acquisition as Your Strategic Partner to Get the Most of Your Internal UA Team
Since 2013, we have supported internal UA teams and have aggregated more than $3 billion in media spend. So our expertise in supporting clients with specific challenges in UA is incredibly vast.
With more than $150 million in monthly spend, we have access to benchmark data and performance measures. Those that make our recommendations holistic and data-driven. And as a result, we see things that nobody else can see.
Creative is the tipping point of success going forward due to the industry shift of automation and improved algorithms on platforms like Facebook and Google. Our in-house Creative Studio provides a unique advantage in supporting our UA clients. By bringing Hollywood-level talent and strategy that is grounded by data and how ads drive financial performance.
Additionally, we are 100% focused on business outcomes and financial performance in service to our customers. We are also transparent in our strategies and communications to ensure all teams are aligned towards the same goals. We are here to partner with you and your internal UA teams as we head into 2021.